Congo President Adviser Among 2 Dead In Jet Crash

Published February 12, 2012 4:09PM (EST)

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A senior presidential adviser was among two killed after a private jet crashed while landing in Congo's eastern city of Bukavu, a transport minister said Sunday.

"We've extracted two bodies from the plane, that of the honorable Augustin Katumba Mwanke who has just been moved to the morgue, and that of a co-pilot," said Provincial Transport Minister Laban Kyalangalilwa. He said there were 2 pilots and 10 passengers on the private jet.

South Kivu Governor Marcellin Cishambo has been admitted to the hospital for emergency treatment, and most of the other passengers were taken from the plane alive, Kyalangalilwa said.

"We do not know the cause of the crash and we await the investigations, but apparently there was not bad weather here in Bukavu," he said.

Congo has one of the worst air safety records in the world. The Central African country's safety regulations are notoriously lax. Few passable roads traverse the country after decades of war, forcing the population to rely on ill-maintained planes and boats.

In July, a Hewa Bora plane crashed in a thunderstorm as it was attempting to land at the Kisangani airport in eastern Congo, killing 85 people. In 2008 a DC-9 owned by the same company rammed into a market, killing at least 40 people. A few months later, one of its planes went down, killing 17.

By Salon Staff

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